"Trevor hits me, he has for years." I say quietly to the two female police officers who were now looking at me, waiting for an answer. One of them with blonde hair tied back into a small bun was writing everything down in a little notepad and I kept glancing at her warily. The other one was slightly older and looked in her 40's with dark hair. She seemed nicer and was more sympathetic.
"Can you give me an example of what he would do Emily?" the older police officer asked. I nodded, swallowing the lump in my throat and looked over at Jake who was sat on the arm of the couch silently, his jaw clenched tightly in anger. He gave me a small smile urging me to go on and I looked back at the officer, feeling more confident.
"He'll punch me until I'm down and then kick me repeatedly, he's fractured my bones, he pulls out clumps of my hair and he bruises my entire body beside my face." I answered weakly, feeling tears prick my eyes. I stood up off the couch and lifted my top, pointing at the bruising.
"It was so much worse than this, it's had time to heal." I said, glancing at the officer who was examining them with sadness in her eyes.
Even though my secret was out, it still pained me to say the words. Admitting your step father abused you for years without anyone batting an eyelid wasn't an easy thing to do. It made me feel weak, helpless. I now know I should have done more to stop it but I'm still classed as a child, home is home. I didn't have anywhere else to go, anyone to turn to. My family were distanced away from me on purpose so that Trevor could keep me hidden.
"Would you like to come to the station and make a official statement Emily?" she asked softly. I shook my head glancing at Jake again, remembering his words.
"No. I don't want to press charges." I replied firmly. Jake would take care of that.
"Why not?" the blonde officer suddenly asked me, glancing between me and Jake suspiciously. This was the first time she had spoken and I knew she didn't believe me from her tone.
"I don't want to press charges, that's my decision. I'm safe here." I gestured around the room and she narrowed her eyes at me.
"So what's your relationship with Jake Melvin?" she asked totally off topic. I looked at her directly, frowning.
"He's my friend" I replied confidently, my head held high.
"You're friends with Jake Melvin? He doesn't seem like your type to befriend" she said, her head tilted as if she could see straight through me. I heard Jake cough and turned to see him stand up, his hands in his jean pockets.
"Is there a problem with her being friends with me Helen?" he said coldly, tilting his head at the officer.
Jake knows her name?
The officer that I now know was named Helen turned to face Jake, her face now visibly harsher.
"Of course not" she replied tightly. It was clear as day she was struggling to lie. Her jaw was clenched and I sensed her and Jake had some previous history. Jake smirked at her, bouncing forward and back on the heel of his trainers.
"So what's the need for that question?" he asked. Helen sighed, not wanting to get into an argument with Jake and instead turned back towards me.
"Be careful who you choose as your friends."
An instant frown settled on my face and I narrowed my eyes at her, standing up.
"It's my choice who I'm friends with, not yours. He's a good friend to me, he let me stay here to keep me safe. He's done more for me than you probably ever will. You're here to talk about Trevor, not Jake. So I'd like to stick to the subject."
I heard Jake chuckle quietly and could faintly see him smirking from the corner of my eye at my response. Helen's face was now raging, her jaw clenched firmly. She definitely wasn't happy with my response. The other officer handed me a card, smiling at me faintly before standing up.
"Thanks for the information Emily, we'll be in touch over your living arrangements. Your mother has requested you go back home but obviously we have to put your safety first."
"My mother can go to hell." I said angrily, sitting back down onto the couch. I crossed my arms, angry at the information.
"What a selfish, pathetic excuse of a parent," I mumbled. The officers ignored my little outburst and walked over to the door, ready to leave.
"If you need anything, anything at all, ring the number on the card." She pointed at the card in my hands and I nodded. I watched as she turned towards Jake, her eyebrows raised –
"Stay out of trouble Jake," she said sternly almost like a mother telling off her child.
Jake chuckled quietly.
"I only get in trouble to see your pretty face Rachel" he winked at her causing the officer named Rachel to shake her head. The corner of her lips twitched into a small smile before she placed her police hat back on and disappeared out of the door.
"Nice work Muffin. Helen's face was priceless, I should have taken a picture of it." Jake smirked in amusement, leaning back against the wall.
"You seem to know them well."
The smirk on his face was quickly replaced with a sheepish look.
"Yeah, I guess you could say that."
I rolled my eyes at him and stood up, walking out the room to get some breakfast. I needed to drown my worries with sugar, lots of it. I heard Jake's footsteps behind me and he grabbed my arm before pulling me towards him.
"Muffin, can you at least smile?" Jake whispered, searching into my eyes. I let out a small sigh, closing my eyes. Jake is right.
The truth is, I was angry. Angry at Mum for wanting me to go home. She knows how Trevor abuses me but never stopped it. Jake sensed the anger inside me and he gently pushed me back until I felt the wall greet me. His hand reached up and he tucked a strand of hair behind my ear before placing a gentle kiss on my jawline in an effort to calm me down.
I like it when he does that.
"Get a room, it's disgusting."
My head snapped to the right where Tobias was stood, his nose scrunched up in disgust. Jake took a few steps back and I felt my cheeks heat up in embarrassment even though Tobias barely saw anything.
It was a harmless kiss.
Jake turned towards Tobias, his eyebrows raised in annoyance.
"What's your problem man?" Jake asked, his voice low. The tension between these two was so obvious. I glanced between them as they both stared each other down, their eyes cold and emotionless.
I wonder what happened between them?
"My problem is that you're blocking the fùcking hallway with your PDA," Tobias mumbled in anger. Jake's body tensed and he took a step forward.
"So what? Are you jealous?" Jake spat back harshly. Tobias chuckled at Jake and I swallowed the lump in my throat feeling extremely uncomfortable.
"I'm not jealous J. You know I can have whoever I want." Tobias' eyes were glinting with humour, mocking Jake.
Everything happened so fast and before I knew it, Jake had pounced on Tobias, his fists colliding with Tobias' face. Tobias was knocked back before regaining his balance and lunged for Jake. I heard the force of Tobias' punch against Jake's cheek and I screamed, finally snapping out of shock.
Jake's head snapped towards me and I backed up, fear in my eyes. I hate seeing people fight.
It frightened me being around a dangerous atmosphere. You'd think I would have grown used to it living with Trevor but I didn't have a single fighting bone in my body.
Jake stood to his feet quickly, dodging another punch from Tobias when Ivory ran down the stairs, eyes wide with terror. She glanced at me and then at the boys who had started fighting again, their fists flying all over the place.
"Tobias!" She screeched and Tobias immediately stopped, backing away from Jake, his chest rising and falling rapidly. Jake glared angrily at Tobias and wiped away the blood from his lip with the back of his hand.
"Stay away from me and definitely stay away from Emily."
Jake turned towards me, taking my hand in his. He pulled me towards the kitchen, slamming the door shut so that we'd be alone. I didn't realise my hands were shaking until Jake pulled me into his lap, wrapping my hands in his.
"I shouldn't have done that in front of you."
I reached for his hand and stroked over his knuckles which were now red from the force of his punch. His hand seemed so huge next to mine and Jake seemed to notice this too.
"You have tiny hands."
"I don't have tiny hands, they look tiny compared to your massive caveman hands."
Jake gasped, mocking hurt and I grinned at him. His lip was still bleeding and I reached up sadly, wiping away the blood with my thumb.
"I hate it when you fight." I mumbled.
Jake sighed in response, his eyes drifting to my lap instead of looking at me.
"I can't control myself sometimes Emily. If I'm angry, I have to release it somehow. Tobias pushes my buttons like no-one else."
I nodded, knowing Tobias is a trigger for Jake's anger. I reached up and stroked his cheek gently, the warmth of my hand pressing against his skin. Jake remained silent as he studied my face and I began to feel nervous under his fixed stare. His eyes were glazed over and he seemed to be deep in thought, eyes shining bright blue.
"You're beautiful," he whispered and I sucked in a breath from his words. He placed both his hands around my face tenderly and leaned forward, eyes fluttering shut. His kiss was soft and gentle, almost as if he was expressing his feelings using his lips.
I couldn't believe this boy could be so harsh and violent but also have a loving, sweet side that I feared I was falling in love with.
The feeling scared me.
Love to me meant getting hurt. People that I had loved previously had always ended up leaving me heartbroken, alone and I feared Jake would do the same.
Did I want to risk falling any deeper for him incase he ended up hurting me?
Leaving me completely alone?
As soon as I pulled back and looked up into a swirl of blues as magical as the ocean, I already know my answer. It was too late.
"Emily, come home this instant! How dare you leave home so suddenly — "
I scoff, unable to believe her words.
"Leave me alone Mum."
I began ignoring her repeat phone calls but eventually decide to answer before she blew my phone up, literally.
"Where are you? I demand that you come home!" Mum screeches at the other end of the phone. To my right Jake raises an eyebrow and I know he can hear her scream like a banshee.
"You don't need to know where I am. I'm safe, isn't that all that matters?" I argue back with her, desperately trying to make her see sense.
I hear her pause on the other end before she inhale sharply. I wonder whether she finally understands but when she begins calling me selfish and an inconvenience, I slump my shoulders in defeat.
Why can she not see that I ran away for my own safety?
Would I always be the child blamed for all of the troubles in her life?
Raw tears sting the back of my eyes and I sniffle, reaching up to quickly wipe them away. A warm hand slips into my left one, intertwining our fingers together. The small contact surprises me because in the past, I'm all alone as the tears fall. I turn my head, eyes connecting with warm blue ones —
"You're okay," Jake murmurs, reaching over and plucking the phone from my hand. That's when I notice it shaking and I watch as Jake silently ends the calls, silencing Mum's voice.
"She has quite a voice on her, doesn't she?" Jake says, amusement and disbelief lining his voice.
"Yeah, that's my mum." I respond quietly. Moments of silence fall on us and I close my eyes, Jake's warm hand still in mine.
"Why didn't she stop Trevor?" He asks after a while, his tone dropping to almost a hushed whisper. I sigh and run a hand over my face, totally exhausted from the day.
I asked myself the same question over and over again, lying wide awake at night. I have vague idea why Mum let Trevor do what he did. It's always been there in the back of my mind and I try to push it away but it just keeps eating away at me.
"I think she blames me for my Dad's death and it's her way of punishing me." I whisper, feeling physically sick from the thought.
I didn't know it was possible to feel pain in your heart but right now it felt like a glass bottle was stabbing through it continuously. The glass ripping away at me, tearing me apart.
I miss him so much.
"Come here," Jake whispers, pulling me towards him and wrapping an arm around my small body. I'm grateful for his support and lean against him, letting my head fit into the crook of his neck.
"Do you really think that?" Jake asks quietly, his voice a murmur. I nod my head silently, feeling my eyes fill up with emotional tears. The door suddenly opens, ending the touchy conversation between Jake and I.
Both Tobias and Ivory walk in, chatting quietly between themselves. I sniffle quickly, wiping away the tears before they can see the pain in my eyes.
"Another party?" I ask Ivory, noticing at her black skin tight dress. Her wild hair is curled around her shoulders and she's wearing sky high black heels. She looks amazing. Ivory nods, grinning widely at me.
"It's downtown, just a few friends that me and Tobias know."
I nod silently, shuffling away from Jake as I notice how close we're sitting next to each other. I don't feel comfortable under Tobias' dark stare.
"Anyone would think you two were dating."
Speaking of Tobias. . .
My head shoots up and I lock eyes with him, they're cold and emotionless. He's staring intensely at Jake's arm around my shoulders, his eyebrow raised high.
"So what if we are?"Jake says quietly, his voice low and threatening. I glance at Jake and frown deeply, utterly confused.
We're dating? Since when?
Gee thanks Jake, nice of you to tell me.
Jake avoids my burning gaze and I feel my heart speed up, thumping against my chest hard. Jake simply stares at Tobias coldly, glaring directly at him. Ivory is the first to break the tension by squealing loudly.
"Oh my god, you're dating!?" She yells, her mouth open in shock. I remain silent and glance at Jake again.
I have no idea what to say.
Of course I want to date Jake.
He's beautiful, kind hearted and has the ability to make my heart stop with a flash of his smile. Until now he seemed so against the idea of calling me his girlfriend.
Is he saying this just to make Tobias jealous?
"You don't do relationships, right Jake?" Tobias adds lightly however there's a mocking tone to his words. His lips are curled up in a snarl and his eyes travel over me before glancing at Jake.
"Tobias, stop it." Ivory frowns, turning towards him. Tobias chuckles at her words and I stiffen in Jake's arms.
"Get out Tobias, now." Jake warns him, his jaw clenched tight. I stand up off the couch to leave the room because I don't want to be on the end of Tobias' firing line.
"Emily, wait." Jake pleads, tugging at my wrist. I turn towards Tobias, a confused expression written across my features. He simply smirks back at me smugly.
"What's your problem?" I ask him quietly, my eyes narrowing at him. Okay it is official, I severely dislike him.
"Don't get too comfortable here Emily. Once he sleeps with you, you'll be ancient history."
My heart immediately stops and I pause, frozen in place as I to register his words.
"What did you just say?" I whisper in shock, not sure I'd heard him right. Tobias rolls his eyes at me, amused by the entire situation.
"Why do you think he hasn't asked you to be his girlfriend? Because he doesn't have any intentions to. Jake Melvin isn't the dating type." Tobias said bluntly, sounding bored. I frown further, tugging my wrist out of Jake's grasp.
"You know that isn't true Tobias!" Jake yells, lunging for Tobias but he was too quick for him. Both of them are the exact same weight but Tobias has the advantage of height. He dodges out of Jake's way and skilfully spins around, landing a quick punch to Jake's jaw. My eyes widen as Jake falls backwards from the force, landing on the floor.
Tobias simply smirks, his eyes shining brightly with amusement. He turns to face me, intending to stab my heart once again with his words.
"Ask him about Violet, that's the reason he doesn't date."
"Violet?" I question, my voice quiet and timid. The name really doesn't ring a bell and I turn toward Jake, a questioning look on my face.
"Stop it Tobias! You sick bastard." Jake hisses, his eyes burning dark as he springs to his feet. Tobias keeps his eyes locked onto mine and I don't dare breathe.
"Why do I have reason to lie?"
And with that he turns and walks straight out of the room. I hear the front door slam and Ivory runs to Jake's side. He gingerly touches his jaw and hisses from the pain. His breaths are shaky and his fists are still clenched tightly as he struggles to remain calm.
"I hate him! I hate him for what he's done to me." Jake yells out, telling Ivory. She mumbles a response under her voice, too quiet for me to hear. I simply stare at him intensely, my face contorted in pain as Tobias' words ring round and round my head.
"Emily, he's lying. I can explain!"
I force myself to breathe deeply . . . give him a chance Emily.
"Is he lying? Explain what he means by that Jake. Who is Violet?" I ask him, my voice wavering.
The silence in the room begins to increase until it became almost suffocating. I stare intently at Jake, never blinking. My eyes are covered in a glossy sheen as remains silent, his face twisted and contorted with difficulty.
"Jake." I plead with him, my voice desperate.
I don't want it to be true.
He opens his mouth to reply and I see pain flash through his features before he masks it over. I know that'S it, he isn't going to explain. I shake my head at him and leave the room, walking out of the house. Tears prick my eyes as I think of everything that has happened these past few weeks.
My life is a complete mess. I don't have control over anything. Everything good slips away from my fingertips before I have a chance to keep hold of it forever. After spending years living in fear and unable to love or trust, I want it to end so I can be happy.
I don't stop walk until my chest and legs burn from the pain and I glance around, finding myself in the cemetery. I breathe in deeply, letting oxygen into my lungs and make my way along the route I have memorised.
I stop when I get to his grave and get onto my knees, wiping the tears away. I don't want him to know I've been crying. I silently push away the branches and leaves, feeling guilty for letting it get to this stage. Once I'm done, my fingers stroke over the carving – loving father. I let out a sob, unable to control the pain anymore. It's taking over my chest, becoming unbearable.
If he was here, he'd tell me what to do. He always had a reasonable solution to everything. When he was alive, my life was full of love and happiness. It was crazy how one accident could completely change all that, rip it away from you in seconds.
I sniffle, wiping away the tears on my cheeks. The wind whips around me harshly but I'm numb to the cold, numb to everything. Loneliness is a feeling I've
grown accustomed to but right now, it's hitting me harder than ever before.
"I just want you back Dad." I whisper, pulling my knees into my chest.